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Ponta Delgada ,  October 20, 2017

Sustainable economic exploration of the sea requires scientific knowledge, says Gui Menezes

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology stated in Ponta Delgada that "the strategy for the sustainable economic exploration of the sea requires knowledge based on scientific research."
Gui Menezes stressed that this "is the first pillar of the development model of the maritime economy we want for the Azores."
The Regional Secretary spoke on regional priorities in marine research at the presentation session of the work carried out by the Portuguese Navy Ship D. Carlos in the Azores Sea. The initiative was organised by the Hydrographic Institute of the Portuguese Navy in partnership with the University of the Azores.
Gui Menezes pointed out that the oceanographic campaigns as well as the bathymetric and topographic surveys carried out by the Hydrographic Institute are "extremely important for the modelling of habitats and marine ecosystems and for the knowledge about their biodiversity."
In his speech, the Regional Secretary announced that the Government will launch a tender in November to support scientific research projects under the Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation of the Azores (RIS3), which will "allow the financing of more scientific research applied to the sea."
With an overall allocation of 3.3 million Euros, this tender is similar to the one launched in 2015. It funded 22 research projects in the three RIS3 axes, seven of which in the area of Sea and Fisheries
The Regional Secretary defended that scientific activity and "cutting edge" scientific projects developed in the Azores in various areas "contribute to a better knowledge of our sea and are fundamental in supporting political decisions."
In order to ensure the economic sustainability of fisheries, "the main economic activity carried out in our sea," the government official pointed several monitoring programmes in progress, namely the annual monitoring of demersal species, the Azores Fisheries Observation Programme, the Fishing Data Collection Programme or monitoring programme of the Condor Bank.
"We want to consolidate our fishing activities with the best available scientific information, being in permanent dialogue with scientists from our university but also with national and European entities in the context of the Common Fisheries Policy," said the government official.
In addition to fishing, he pointed out that the Government of the Azores has been "investing in emerging areas of the maritime economy," such as the case of aquaculture and marine biotechnology, areas in which "scientific knowledge is fundamental."
In this regard, he recalled the mapping of areas with potential for aquaculture in the archipelago. It "serves as a basis for projects that are due to start very soon."
"We have high expectations for these projects," the government official said, noting that they "contain a very interesting component, which is the involvement of local companies, researchers and fishing communities."
Gui Menezes also highlighted in his speech the new investment fund for research and entrepreneurship associated with the sea, created by the National Government, the Blue Fund. He considered it as an "excellent opportunity for companies and regional research centres working in the maritime sector to obtain financing."
The Regional Secretary also said the exploration of minerals from underwater funds could some economic relevance for the Region in the long-term, but assured that "the Regional Government intends to guarantee the sustainability of the exploration of these resources."
Gui Menezes also stressed that "before we go move forward with the exploration of resources, we need to have a deeper knowledge," adding that "there is still a long way to go."
In this context, he highlighted the involvement of the Azores in the European mapping of the ocean floor and its resources as well as in the study of the environmental impacts of underwater mineral exploitation.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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